There aren’t many modern frame builders still specializing in traditional ornate and elaborate bikes these days — in the US or the UK. Iowa’s Jeff Bock still holds the torch high, though, and this light randonneur demonstrates why his work is still in demand.
Hopefully, this won’t be the first time you’ll have come across Jeff’s work. While his frames are admired by those in the know, he’s not the most talked-about builder even though he’s been in the business since 1975 and has turned out hundreds of frames.
His red randonneur is another inspired by the influence of Jan Heine and Bicycle Quarterly, commissioned by a Paris-Brest-Paris competitor and passionate cyclist who already owns an extensive stable of bikes.
Jeff’s customer wanted a combination of his 1965 René Herse, and his modern lugged Waterford road bike, updated with low-trail steering geometry, tire clearances up to 35mm, custom front rack, and integrated wiring.
The two talked at length about what the benefits and disadvantages of each frame and, Jeff tells us, his customer had “been riding long enough and ridden enough bikes that he’s pretty much figured out what works for him and what doesn’t.”
Jeff built the frame out of Kaisei Super Light tubing and Toei fork blades offered by Compass, assembled with a NOS set of Prugnat lugs and dropouts by Paragon Machine Works and those supplied by Peter White for use with the Schmidt SL dynamo hub.
When the customer turned up with the rest of the components, Jeff was taken aback. 11-speed Campagnolo Super Record, Hed rims and ZIPP handlebars might not be the most period-correct kit, but we think it cuts a surprising and dashing figure.
Get in touch with Jeff via his Facebook page.
Special thanks to Christopher Maharry for the photos.